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Old 01-30-2009, 11:21 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Another first-time builder! Looking to do gaming; pretty flexible.

So, for the past six (or more!) years, I've been stuck with a garbage computer struggling to play recent games, and I've finally realized it's about time to give it up. Half-Life 2 was the last game I played comfortably, and new games using its engine I've found to be unplayable. So, I'm ready to build a new machine.

But oh boy, do I need some help.

I'm not looking to make a super-competitive gaming rig here, just something to keep me up to date. So, I've done some lurking, and put together a PC which I'm guessing would turn into a pile of ash on first boot. Ready for this?

GPU:
SAPPHIRE 100265L Radeon HD 4830
OR
SAPPHIRE 100225L Radeon HD 3870


I saw some people in the comments of the latter GPU saying they wish they had bought the former. Now I'm conflicted. What's your take on it? They're almost exactly the same price.

CPU
Intel Core 2 Duo E7400 Wolfdale 2.8GHz


This came out only a few months ago, I believe? It seems like a solid deal compared to other Core 2 Duo CPUs.

RAM
CORSAIR 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2


I'm struggling to find something wrong with this RAM, but I don't think there is.

Motherboard
GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3P LGA 775
OR
ASUS P5Q Pro LGA 775


I got a problem here. These are both solid mobos, same price. The former seems like a better product; I'd go for that if I had the choice. But one has a "DDR2 1333" standard and the other has a "DDR2 1200" standard. Which will my RAM work in? I'm totally confused here. RAM seems to be cheap as dirt, so if I have to buy something else to work in the Gigabyte mobo, I'd be willing to.

HDD
Western Digital Caviar Green WD10EADS 1TB 32MB Cache SATA


I spied a promo code that drops the price ten bucks. No problem here, I hope?

PSU
OCZ GameXStream OCZ700GXSSLI 700W


I'm going with this pretty much solely for the fact that it's ridiculously discounted. And you can never be TOO safe with a PSU, right?

Case...I haven't decided yet. Maybe you can help. I've got an ODD, monitor, etc left over from the old computer, so I won't be needing those.

That's what I've got as a start. I'd immensely appreciate any assistance with this work-in-progress. This is pretty foreign territory for me, so... I could use the help.
Thanks :D
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Old 01-30-2009, 11:33 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Another first-time builder! Looking to do gaming; pretty flexible.

The RAM will work in both motherboards (you could go for faster RAM, if you wanted), personally I would go with ASUS since I know they're usually very good quality, even though the Gigabyte is technically better. I dunno, really... see what others say.
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Old 01-30-2009, 11:37 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Another first-time builder! Looking to do gaming; pretty flexible.

VGA take 9800gtx, 4850 or 4830, all the other well.
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Old 01-30-2009, 11:52 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Another first-time builder! Looking to do gaming; pretty flexible.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yamikotai View Post
The RAM will work in both motherboards (you could go for faster RAM, if you wanted), personally I would go with ASUS since I know they're usually very good quality, even though the Gigabyte is technically better. I dunno, really... see what others say.
Excellent, thanks. I'll see what others say. I don't really NEED the Gigabyte one, and if the ASUS one is a more solid product, I'll just go with that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by qHooteX View Post
VGA take 9800gtx, 4850 or 4830, all the other well.
Are you saying that I should either get a better GPU or downgrade my mobo? Either is feasible... getting a better GPU is completely within reason of my budget.
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Old 01-30-2009, 11:55 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Another first-time builder! Looking to do gaming; pretty flexible.

The 4830 would be the better pick. It's a lot faster than the 3870.

This ram has better timings and will overclock well:
Newegg.com - OCZ SLI-Ready Edition 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Desktop Memory

Both are good motherboards but I'd go with the UD3P. Just because it supports higher ram requency.

And get this PSU instead:
Newegg.com - PC Power & Cooling S61EPS 610W Continuous @ 40°C EPS12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply - Power Supplies
It's better quality and more than enough power for your system.
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Old 01-30-2009, 05:23 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Another first-time builder! Looking to do gaming; pretty flexible.

Somehow, I knew there would be a problem with the RAM. Thanks for clearing that up; I'll definitely get what you recommended.
Also, killer deal on that PSU. I'll be swapping that, too. Really appreciate the hookup.

As for the video card... will the 4830 be adequate? I hear people praising the 4850, but it doesn't seem worth it to me for the price difference. I feel like a deviant going with the 4830, but it doesn't really seem like such a bad deal.

Also, finally: With the UD3P, will I later be able to implement Crossfire? With the P5Q Pro, they explicitly say it's Crossfire compatible. I'm not sure I'll ever reach the point where I'll want to pop another GPU in, but it's a possibilty to consider.

UD3P reads as follows:
2 x PCI Express 2.0 x16
(one running at x16 model, another one running at x8 model)


While P5Q Pro reads as follows:
2 x PCI Express 2.0 x16 slots, support ATI CrossFireX technology at x8 link
(black at max. x8 link)


You've all been a great help to a noob like me. Thanks :laughing:
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Old 01-30-2009, 05:34 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Another first-time builder! Looking to do gaming; pretty flexible.

yes, you will be able to Xfire with UD3P
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Old 01-31-2009, 01:09 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Another first-time builder! Looking to do gaming; pretty flexible.

4830 is better. Also like the guy suggested I'd go with PC Power & Cooling PSU. They are usually rock solid for power. I ordered the 750W quad sli Silencer myself. Can't wait to plug in that bad boy.
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